“Writers need to put skin in the game…”


…and money.


I’d already had a bad day when I read that comment initiating a LinkedIn post by a neophyte publisher. Not only did she make egregious errors in her post, but she insulted writers at our basic level. When she received a response commenting on her misuse of words, you could almost hear her giggle as she noted that she always gets those words mixed up. Never mind the misspellings and poor grammar she used. Yes, you will find misspellings and grammatical mistakes in my work, but I’m not putting myself out there as a publisher or offering to copyedit anyone. So I lambasted her–and later discovered that she’d removed the post.

But let’s talk about skin in the game.

What do publishers and agents think we do all day? How many hours did you spend on that book that wasn’t even acknowledged? How many months and years?

And money? How much money have you spent on office supplies and technology and websites and books and research and…and…and…How much unpaid time did you use up instead of spending time doing something that actually paid you?

And that doesn’t even get into the emotional cost.

Skin in the game? Next time you are negotiating a contract, ask your agent or your publisher how much skin they are willing to put in the game.


Creative Writing 101

My Writers Digest University class starts a new 12-week course on Thursday, October 23. If you’d like more information, or to register for the class, go to http://register.writersonlineworkshops.com/Course?CourseId=1120-10. I hope to read you there!